Why I Decided To Be Friends With My Extremely Painful Broken Wrist

I broke my wrist.

Sidebar: my face got pretty-ed up when I hit the road too.

Here’s a picture:


I got the front wheel of my bike caught in a streetcar track, they’re essentially tram tracks. I had nowhere to go but down. I ended up in an ambulance, the ER and then, two weeks later, having surgery to put plates and pins in my arm to properly reset the bone.

It’s a bad break, apparently. It’s also my first.

Coming back home just hours after surgery, I went straight to bed surrounded by painkillers, antibiotics, books, iPad, magazines and a bottle of water. The thing about being on strong painkillers is that you have the attention span of a gnat so books, magazines, iPads…they all go unread.

My arm continued to swell that night resting on its splint, wrapped in bandages. It really fucking hurt. I got really fucking grumpy about it.

My man sensibly decided to sleep in another room that night, so I was free to grump and harumph all night long.

After raging and grumping and crying frustrated tears about how uncomfortable I was I finally decided something.

My arm and I are in this together. My arm needs me to be a friend to it.

I resolved to treat my arm like I would treat a beloved friend. I would we WITH my arm instead of against it. I would be FOR my arm instead of opposed to it.

To begin with, I had to mutter “be a friend…be a friend…be a friend” every time I needed to move to get comfortable again. I had to literally replace the swearing or huffing. Man-friend looked at me askance the first time he heard me muttering that.

But it worked.

Although moving still hurt and the swelling was still uncomfortable, by deciding I was going to be a friend to my arm I stopped fighting my reality. I stopped going into all the stories I was telling myself about the pain.

The pain was still there and was very VERY real, but I felt much more peaceful. I let the pain be what it is, a signal to stop doing that (and nothing more). I allowed myself to access the qualities I needed to nurse my broken wrist and be there for the part of me that was frustrated and fed-up.

Qualities like [caring] [thoughtfulness] [gentleness] [mothering] [tenderness] [peacefulness]

And they can co-exist with my physical pain. Really, really well it turns out.

Here’s to healing. Mine and yours.